Each year, the MacQuitty prize is awarded by Dr Jonathan MacQuitty (Sussex PhD 1979) to the highest performing undergraduate student studying mathematics, biology, technology, science or psychology. For the 2014 award we are delighted to announce that the winning student is Daniel Riszczuk – MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering with foundation year.
Daniel will receive the MacQuitty Award, a £10,000 cash prize due to his grade point average being a very impressive 90%.
The prize was founded by Dr Jonathan MacQuitty in recognition of and to continue the support that his Great Uncle received whilst studying science in the late 19th century.
“My grandfather, James MacQuitty, was born in Belfast in 1867. His older bother, William, was born in 1863. Theirs was not an easy childhood. Their mother died in 1872, and their father in 1876 leaving them orphans to be raised by relatives. My grandfather went to work as a printers’ devil at the age of 14. William had the intelligence and good fortune to receive free schooling and in 1881 he entered Queen’s University, Belfast on a scholarship.
In 1884 he received a prize of several hundred pounds for being top among the First Class Honours students for the B.A in Experimental Science. The prize allowed him to continue his studies in Dublin and London before he returned to Belfast to start as a physician. His career was successful and he was Honorary Physician to Ulster Hospital when he died unexpectedly in 1910 at the age of 47. He had no children so part of his estate came to my grandfather and then via my father to me, helping support me as I studied for a DPhil at Sussex in the 1970’s. Now in turn the MacQuitty Prize will allow another student a similar benefit.”
We would like to say a huge congratulations to Daniel (who also won the Babcok Prize for best Mechanical Engineering Student last year), who will be continuing his Continuing Variable Transmission research next year with a University of Sussex research partner.